Friday, November 30, 2007

Faamavaega at School

Wednesday I had my final going away at my school. I stayed up crazy late burning CDs for my students of all the pictures I have ever taken of them. Despite the fact that I stayed up so late, I still woke up earlier than usual, I think it was stress related. Around 6am I wandered up to my lab to drop off some last minute things and some of my students were behind the school building BBQing some food for a feast with me later. They were listening to Christmas music, dancing and having a blast. I sat and chatted and watched them for awhile then went back to my house to finish packing.

Around 9:30 the teachers called me into the staff room and sat me down at the head of the table next to the principal. He gave a speech about how happy they are to have had me there and all of that jazz. Said I have left 2 very good computer teachers in my wake. I gave a short speech in English about thinking of them like family and now have 2 famililies around the world. I started to tear up at the end. :) They gave me some money gift and i gave them some CDs I burned of their families around the compound.

Then we moved into the big hall. Amosa sat me up on the stage and said now was the time for my Samoan speech. I stood up and it started pouring. I tried to yell, but I don't think that any of my students heard a word I said. :) Then he called up my Year 13 class. The head boy came forward and said a few words about our class and me as their teacher. I didn't hear it well, I was starting to tear up again. Then each student in my class came forward one at a time and gave me a gift. I started bawling. All I remember was hugging and kissing each of my students telling them I love them and will miss them. After that my principal asked if any other students had gifts for me. One of the Tech 1 students came forward. He is by far and away the cheekiest kid in my class. All the kids were laughing by the time he came to the front of the stage. He gave me a massive hug and handed my a gift the entire class had put together. The Tech class had made me an ava bowl. It is beautiful. Then it was time to dance. I stood up and danced by myself traditional Samoan style. One with my students and one with my teachers. When it was time for the teachers to dance with me, one came up and pretended to cry like he couldn't really continue on. I went over to "comfort him" and he grabbed me and gave me a crazy long bear hug.

Afterwards I signed all of my students t-shirts that my dad had brought for them. Then they headed out on the buses and were gone. I had a student help me carry all of my stuff with me to my house, including a fine mat from Laupama, and I started trying to figure out how to pack it all. After an hour or so, Laupama and her daughters came down to the house to chat with me and keep me company. Jackie and Tapu arrived around 2:30 and we were off...

Its strange knowing I wont be back to my house... or see some of my students again. Most of the compound is coming to the airport to say goodbye to me. It will be a tad crazy. Now, I am in Apia trying to wrap up forms, paperwork and last minute things... It is flying by and I can't stop it now. So, instead of being sad I am enjoying what time i have left and hanging out with the other volunteers...

Here are a few pics from my party...

My Yr 13 students preparing the BBQ

The Yr 13 class prepared gifts for all of the faifeau teachers. Here they are presenting them... They gave t-shirts and embroidered ties to the pastors.

My Head boy, Isaia in line.

Me dancing

I look a little nervous a little sad....

Me, Lesa, Seti and Laupama...


At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Pictures Julya,
Hope you have a great going away time at the airport of Monday, and a smooth flight to Japan. If you can, let us know that you arrived safely and your friend wisked you away from the crowds at the Tokyo airport before you had a change to O.D.
We love you and look forward to seeing you soon.
Love Mom


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